Monday, June 24, 2024

John Joseph Nicotra, 77

John Joseph Nicotra (Wilmington Funeral & Cremation)

CASTLE HAYNE — John Joseph Nicotra, age 77, recently of Castle Hayne, NC and long time resident of Toms River, NJ passed away at Brunswick Cove Living Center in Winnabow on the 16th of May, 2024.

John was born to the late Charles and Josephine Nicotra (née DiCasoli) in Brooklyn, NY on September 14, 1946.

John is survived by his wife Louanne Nicotra, children Matthew Nicotra (Kristin), Meghan Nicotra, and Lara Nicotra, and one granddaughter Stella, along with many other extended family members and friends.

John was a career military man, reporting to the Brooklyn Navy Yard in 1965. He served active duty with the Navy as a Vietnam era sailor stationed aboard the USS Glover until 1968 when he became an active member of the Navy Reserves. John maintained a civilian career for 45 years with the City of New York from 1965 – 2010. During this time, John served with the Seabees during the 80s and early 90s. In 1993, John made his final military transition into the NJ Air National Guard 177th Fighter Wing. In February of 2003 his unit was activated and deployed to defend our nation during Operation Iraqi Freedom. At this time, John was already 57 years old. After his unit returned home, he served an additional 2 years before his retirement in 2005.

Afterwards, John volunteered at the Veterans Service Organization in Toms River. He was also an active member of the American Legion, the Disabled American Veterans, and Veterans of Foreign Wars.

You could always find John in the kitchen or at the grocery store; as he was a great cook and baker. He was known for his famous Sailor John’s Full Speed Ahead Chili and brought it to most events with family and friends. John also had some great stories – like the time he challenged Emeril Lagasse to “kick it up a notch” with a jambalaya MRE or the time he filled a hole on an America’s Cup sailboat with his bread dough and saved the day.

John had an affinity for the beach and relaxation. In the spring and fall, he enjoyed spending time in Corolla, NC with a cup of coffee and a good book. And in the summer months, he could be found at Island Beach State Park in NJ with his toes in the sand.

A celebration of life will be held at a future date.

In lieu of flowers, John’s family asks that you please consider making a donation to Disabled American Veterans, an organization very close to his heart.

Please leave memories and condolences for John’s family here.

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